When all those skinny moms post stuff on Instagram or Facebook about how much they love to eat donuts or french fries, or how "bad" they are for indulging in a big, delicious cheeseburger, or how hard it is to lose the baby weight or complain about their muffin tops. But at the end of the day, they know they still look good. I mean, if you truly know you have rolls and back fat and muffin tops and are tipping the scales at well over 30 pounds, you don't post about it. You just kind of hope no one notices.
I'm not saying that being thin, by any means, equals healthy or that all mothers or women or people aspire to be "skinny." But I am saying that if you've ever walked down the path of a postpartum body genuinely struggling to get to a place where you can feel good in your skin, it's hard. It's hard to see other women make a joke out of eating, when you become obsessed with what you "should" and "shouldn't" eat. It's hard when you do all the right things, more things than a lot of naturally thin people do, and it doesn't matter.
I'm in a weird spot these days. I'm no longer freshly postpartum, with my youngest child about to turn 2 next week. But I've had four kids in six years and am struggling mightily with the fact that even after dedicated workouts and "clean" eating and even running my first half-marathon this summer, my weight and body has not budged. I know, I know, the scale doesn't matter. But the scale also hasn't changed a pound since I gave birth two years ago, so that doesn't feel good either, you know what I'm saying?
The point is, overall, I'm just tired of it all.
I'm tired of the fact that I have to think about every single morsel of food that enters my body all day long. I'm tired of the fact that I care.
I'm tired of the fact that I can't just naturally be one of those skinny moms. I'm tired of the fact that I have to think about every single morsel of food that enters my body all day long. I'm tired of the fact that I care. I'm tired of the fact that every time I look in the mirror, I do my best to avoid actually seeing myself, because I honestly don't like what I see. I'm tired of the fact that I can tone my legs and my arms and my triceps, but my stomach still looks someone draped a deflated hot air balloon across it. It's not pretty.
I'm tired of the fact that I feel good, that I can do push-ups and pull-ups and run 13 miles, but my outside doesn't necessarily match how I feel. I'm tired of fighting to pretend that I love my body, despite what it looks like. Why can't there just be some kind of happy medium? Honestly.
I'm tired of wasting away my kids' youth with what has become an obsession with me. There seems to be a fine line between living a healthy lifestyle and obsessing over a healthy lifestyle, and for me, it's a line I can't help but cross. What does a mom do if her day really is too busy to fit in a workout? If the kids are sick and the laundry is overflowing and you have 10 million work projects? Do you resent your offspring for preventing you from your ever-important exercise? Or do you shrug your shoulders and admit that sometimes, life happens?
It's hard as a not-skinny mother, when you can do all the "right" things but not see your efforts made visible in your body, when your body insists on chugging along, working correctly, growing humans, making milk, being healthy, carrying you through the day yet you insist on begrudging it for not looking a certain way. It kind of makes you stop and think.
Because ultimately, I think the postpartum journey never truly ends, does it? Our bodies are constantly changing through and after motherhood, and while I may be tired of trying to absorb that lesson right now, something tells me that eventually, I will get the message and give up the fight.
I don't have to be tired of thinking about my postpartum body; I just have to learn to do my best to stop fighting what has given me so much.